The fourth annual Monfort College of Business Entrepreneurial Challenge at the University of Northern Colorado features a few changes and additions this year, according to David Thomas, assistant professor of management at the college.
First of all, the prizes to be awarded are significantly higher this year, with $50,000 in prize money. The first place winner will receive $25,000, second place $15,000 and third place $10,000.
This year’s competition is also limited to Colorado-based start-up ventures, which have begun business development, market research and product development but have not received payment for the sale of product or services yet.
Eighteen semifinalists will compete in the Preliminary Challenge where they will present their business concepts to a panel of experts. The Preliminary Challenge takes place on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at the University of Northern Colorado Center at Centerra in Loveland.
Semifinalists include Mother Earth Reverence Farms & Ministries, Urban Farm
Company, Open Water Foundation, Grouse Malting and Roasting Company, 5280 Prosthetics, Eco Med Showerhead, Mile High Manufacturing, Tech Media, It’s a Girl’s Game, Milieux, WE Create, Avert, RuralFrog, IRM, DepositShield, Membrane Protective Technologies, Canine Community Heroes and WildFit Gyms. Read more about the semifinalists here.
“We’re extremely pleased with the diversity and sophistication of this year’s entries,” Thomas said. “We have entries in the fields of agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, sports and recreation and technology.” For example, DepositShield is a web-based mobile friendly application that enables potential renters and tenants to avoid rent fraud and eviction due to foreclosure by revealing a rental property’s ownership of record, foreclosure status, owed back taxes and involuntary liens before signing a lease. Fort Collins-based Membrane Protective Technologies has developed proprietary technologies to protect sperm from dairy cattle for artificial insemination from the ravages of freezing and thawing. IRM Solutions plans to market a web-based software application that will manage investor relations for companies large and small.
Five finalists will be selected at the Preliminary Challenge to present their business plans in a “Shark Tank” format during the Monfort College of Business Entrepreneurial Challenge on Thursday, March 7 at the University Center on the UNC campus. The event will be open to the public and the winners will be announced that night during the Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards, a Northern Colorado Business Report event sponsored by the college.
This year, three high school students who are part of the Young Entrepreneur Tournament at the Larimer County Workforce Center will also compete for $1,500 in cash prizes, with $750 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place.
Fourteen-year-old McKenna Christian, 15-year-old Garrett Johnston and 16-year-old Caleb Sexton attended a 15-hour course presented by Larimer County Workforce Center that taught them how to take an idea and create a business plan.
The three students then entered and were recognized as the top three finalists from the Young Entrepreneur Tournament and will present their ideas to MCB student judges, as well as receive feedback about their business plans.
Mark Johnston, Youth Program Manager at Larimer County Workforce Center said, “Entrepreneurship is the backbone of economic vitality and it’s our goal to help youth become business leaders. The Monfort College of Business also believes in promoting entrepreneurship among youth and will be the principal sponsor of the 2013 Larimer County Workforce Young Entrepreneur Tournament.”
First National Bank is a Venture Capitalist Sponsor of the competition and other sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, contact Sarah Berkman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 351-3052.